Department of Chemistry

College of Letters & Science
W. E. Vaughan

Email address: vaughan@chem.wisc.edu

Position Name: 
Emeritus Professor

A.B. 1957, Oberlin College                          
M.A. 1959, Princeton University
Ph.D. 1960, Princeton University

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Research Description

Professor Vaughan is no longer taking students.

Our research interests are in the area of the response of condensed matter to time varying electric fields. Microscopic models of the dynamics including intermolecular forces are analyzed via statistical mechanics to provide predictions for the measured macroscopic response (especially the dielectric behavior). We have characterized the influence of the long range dipole-dipole forces on the reorientational motion of molecules in liquids and the role of barriers to internal rotation on the dynamics of conformational change. Automated apparatus has been constructed to measure the dielectric response. We are currently using our apparatus and formalism to study counterion dynamics on and near the surface of DNA restriction fragments. The results will help elucidate the dynamics of protein binding to DNA and contribute to an understanding of the role of DNA in gene expression.

Awards and Honors

National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship (declined) 1961
National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow 1957
Phi Beta Kappa 1956